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Joe McQuade

Death Of The Modern GOP

174 posts in this topic

For the sake of the thread, this is going to have to be my last reply. I'll give MM the last word, with the proviso that my silence will not indicate I'm stumped by it. (emoticon)

My core argument is that when we give that sort of latitude to our taxing authorities, we open the door to the abuses that we see that have been built into the tax code over the years with all sorts of special payoffs to favored political constituencies. For the sake of transparency, we need to eliminate ALL of them and treat everyone exactly the same. If we want to dispense special favors based on income or anything else, we need to make those decisions in deliberate way.

I was on board with the overwhelming majority of Congress in '86, I believe it was, when it eliminated most loopholes and lowered the marginal progressive rates. We need another reform lke that. MM uses loopholes to attack the progressive tax, which is illogical. The progressive tax system is transparent and fair, and the American consensus in favor of it has been arrived at deliberately. And MM still hasn't shown why dispensing favors to the poor through food stamps is more fair than helping them with a progressive tax.

Finally, I know MM doesn't want to read Barack Obama's books, but might he revisit Adam Smith's?

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To the self-identified conservatives on this site, most of these are already known. However, this is also a set of reasons for progressives, or anyone else to also vote for Senator Obama.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_...op-ten-rea.html

The Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote For Obama

By: Andrew Sullivan

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially cmopared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama's fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today's Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excresence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America's reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

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To the self-identified conservatives on this site, most of these are already known. However, this is also a set of reasons for progressives, or anyone else to also vote for Senator Obama.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_...op-ten-rea.html

The Top Ten Reasons Conservatives Should Vote For Obama

By: Andrew Sullivan

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially cmopared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama's fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today's Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excresence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America's reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

There are several of those that do make good sense to me, particularly 10, 6, 5, 4, 2. If Andy thinks Obama is gonna rein in spending, he's lost all claim to conservative credentials, though. And American exceptionalism should continue to inform our foreign policy for the reasons that aC spelled out in her post in another thread.

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There are several of those that do make good sense to me, particularly 10, 6, 5, 4, 2. If Andy thinks Obama is gonna rein in spending, he's lost all claim to conservative credentials, though. And American exceptionalism should continue to inform our foreign policy for the reasons that aC spelled out in her post in another thread.

The right said Bill Clinton was going to spend us into socialist oblivion, too. In fact, he earned a great deal of the credit for eliminating deficit spending during his presidency. Obama will have an even freer hand than Clinton did to control spending.

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I know this thread wants to use Sarah Palin as the "poster girl" for all that is or may be wrong with the Republican Party.

I'm not going to get into that mess.

Was she the best possible choice for VP this time around? Clearly, no. Is she "ready" to be President now? No. Is she ready for the national stage? I'm not sure one way or the other. Vice-Presidential candidates are traditionally used to either balance tickets or as vote bait, and the country has had its share of charming nonentities as VP candidates and even as VPs. A couple of them even turned out to be pretty fair Presidents when the job devolved to them *Millard Fillmore, Chester Alan Arthur).

A loss of the White House, particularly when the loss isn't by a hair's breadth (think 2000 and 2004) usually means that the losing party has to take a hard look at why it lost and what it can do do reverse tracks. A blowout loss (which I'm not seeing at this point) can trigger a power struggle as part of the introspection process.

If Sen. Obama wins the White House (as seems likely), the Republicans will have to take stock, and quickly, since it is highly probable that Sen. Obama will be a one-term President, much like Martin Van Buren in 1836 (he was elected as a continuation of Jackson's populist Administration, but was undone by the Panic (read, recession) of 1837 and became so unpopular he was tossed out as a "used-up man" in 1840.

This period of introspection will revolve around several factions, none of which have a majority following in the Party as this time: the so-called Religious Right(social conservatives)(social issues their primary concern)(the largest group); economic conservatives (low deficits and low economic regulation); small-government conservatives (a small part of the puzzle, but a traditional part of the Republican coalition); libertarians (many of whom slide in and out of the Republican tent and who also tend to side with the small-government types); "neocons" (difficult to define and characterize); isolationists (you see this reflected in the libertarian group sometimes); free-traders; and internationalists )who expect to engage the world and project American power in doing so). It's quite a hodgepodge of often conflicting viewpoints, some of which are necessarily contradictory to the point of being non-accomodational.

Complicating the picture is the fact that there are very few natural "leaders" left standing. Among those who contended for the nomination this year, only two--Romney and Huckabee--seem able at this point to even try to lay claim to the mantle of party leadership. McCain, the titular Party leader, will have difficulty playing any meaningful role in the process, and Gov. Palin will likely be seen as too polarizing to be more than a factional leader (probably of the social conservatives). Romney at this point seems to be the darling of the more traditional conservatives, although I find that puzzling since he changes his positions to suit his ambitions and has been on all sides of most issues during the last few years, and Huckabee comes off as a "light" version of Palin at times.

At this point there's too much fog for me to see how all this plays out. My hope is that the small-government and libertarian factions can somehow get together and form enough of a coalition to override the social conservatives and neocons, so the party can return to its historic roots and build from there. Modern conservatism was born from that coalition, and it somewhat lost its way when the social conservatives became ascendent.

It's a little early to predict, as some have, the death of the Republican Party. The same dire predictions were made for it after 1932 (FDR et al.), 1958 (when Congress went heavily Democratic in Eisenhower's sixth year), and 1964 (LBJ/Goldwater), and it has always managed to regroup and bounce back (just as the Democrats have when their demise was predicted after 1864, 1920, and 1980). My guess is that the two-party system we have in the US is a lot stronger than one election cycle, and that the Republicans will be back in 2012, stronger for this rethinking process if not actually victorious. Just don't ask me to name the next standard-bearer of the Party, though--I'm not that clairvoyant.

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Richard,

I agree with all your points and hopes where the R party is concerned - so does the granddaughter of Goldwater. She went so far as to endorse Obama to make that point. Her brother did not and was WAY angry about her action.

Can't predict only one term for Obama because he has built an amazing coalition based strongly on his personal ability to work with people. That leads me to believe that he will be able (if he so chooses) to keep both the public and the no-doubt recalcitrant Congress from going crazy during the incredible challenges his administration (and all of us) will face. However, the flip side of any strong overthrow of a party does tend to lead to a short-term for reset and reevaluation. We'll just have to wait and see.

Re your opening Palin point: Won't speak for anyone else but I think she makes an excellent poster girl for what's wrong with the party I once embraced. However, the damning thing about her is that she is the veritable symbol of the problem with McCain. After all, he chose her.

aC

Note: I read a lot of political blogs each day and am finding a new buzz-phrase among Obama supporters. I don't know how scripted it is but I like it! In anticipation of an Obama win, these followers have stopped or diminished the use of "Yes we can!" and are replacing it with "Let's get to work!". The posting contents are starting to reflect strongly the understanding that the vaunted "change" won't happen on 1/21/2009 but will be the result of hard choices both in government and at the personal level. I really like that!

Edited by Au Courant

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Don't know if anyone caught Charlie Gibson last night. In the race for Govenor in Washington State the Republican nominee is running not as a Republican, but as a member of the GOP, even had the word Republican changed on the ballot to GOP. That's not the sad part, they asked people on the street if they knew that GOP was the same as Republican and 1 out of 4 didn't know. We're doomed!

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Don't know if anyone caught Charlie Gibson last night. In the race for Govenor in Washington State the Republican nominee is running not as a Republican, but as a member of the GOP, even had the word Republican changed on the ballot to GOP. That's not the sad part, they asked people on the street if they knew that GOP was the same as Republican and 1 out of 4 didn't know. We're doomed!

Jonathan Alter has a scary though about low-information voters. Of the 130 million who are expected to vote, only about 50 million voted in a primary and only about half saw even a portion of a presidential debate.

Compare this to 1960, when 70 million saw the first presidential debate, and 68 million voted. More than ever, the USA is at the mercy of the LIV.

We're Number One!

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At this point there's too much fog for me to see how all this plays out. My hope is that the small-government and libertarian factions can somehow get together and form enough of a coalition to override the social conservatives and neocons, so the party can return to its historic roots and build from there. Modern conservatism was born from that coalition, and it somewhat lost its way when the social conservatives became ascendent.

From your mouth to God's ear. If the social conservatives become less important, and the Choice issue taken out of the party platform, (the neo-cons have to go as well) I could be happy to vote Republican for the small efficient Government goal, which is in everyone's best interests.

Just my two cents worth.

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From your mouth to God's ear. If the social conservatives become less important, and the Choice issue taken out of the party platform, (the neo-cons have to go as well) I could be happy to vote Republican for the small efficient Government goal, which is in everyone's best interests.

Just my two cents worth.

Well said.

In the spirit of full-disclosure I have to say that I am 100% anti-abortion except when the life (from a purely physical perspective) of the mother is at risk when carrying a baby to term. That being said, I wish that this platform piece would disappear from both (or any) party. Why? Because it does nothing but cause divisiveness. If there were actually a chance that something could be done about it, then I might change my mind. But there isn't a chance and any candidate that campaigns as "pro-life" is misleading his/her constituency.

As Cal Thomas said many years ago, we lost this one. Drop it and move on. Use our considerable resources to take care of children who are born and, maybe, we can prove life precious enough that these "choices" will become less chosen by women.

aC

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From your mouth to God's ear. If the social conservatives become less important, and the Choice issue taken out of the party platform, (the neo-cons have to go as well) I could be happy to vote Republican for the small efficient Government goal, which is in everyone's best interests.

Just my two cents worth.

I agree with this as well. But choice isn't going away until citizens have an opportunity to have an input.

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Thinking of Goldwater,

GIGOT: They probably don't remember very much about him. Goldwater was much more libertarian, I think, in his roots than a lot of the current Republican Party, social conservatives. He was once asked after he'd run years later, what his abortion position had been in 1964, and his answer was, "Well, I didn't have one. It wasn't an issue." And it goes to show you how much recently some of these hot button social issues have become issues. For Goldwater it was anti-Communism, and it was overweening, big government, and he stuck with that all his -- all of his life really. He was really completely consistent in it.

JIM LEHRER: Haynes, you mentioned the paradoxes of Barry Goldwater.

HAYNES JOHNSON: Well, we've talked about some of them here. I mean, the idea that Barry Goldwater came out for pro-choice so strongly, for gay and lesbian rights, and the difference between the social conservatives of today and the Goldwater conservatives of 1964 are just light years apart, and Goldwater emerges, it seems to me, watching those clips was fascinating -- what Mark said -- he looked forbidding and very grim, whereas, Reagan could say exactly the same things about paving the streets of Vietnam and he said it with a sunny demeanor and everything looked okay. That's okay, we want to pave the streets of Vietnam with bombs, but he could do it with this sort of ambiance. But Goldwater in person was an absolutely remarkably original person.

JIM LEHRER: Charming man.

Senator Barry Goldwater

HAYNES JOHNSON: Lovely guy. You loved to talk to him on the plane or afterwards with a drink and you never knew what he's going to say, but you knew it would be absolutely blunt and breathtaking often, and-

JIM LEHRER: MacNeil covered him in the '64 election for NBC News, and there was some real hair-raising experiences on these planes that Goldwater-

HAYNES JOHNSON: Yes. He was-

JIM LEHRER: --use to fly over to get a-get some good Mexican food and come back.

HAYNES JOHNSON: Yes. That was the way he was. Can I say one more thing?

JIM LEHRER: Sure.

HAYNES JOHNSON: About today. He and Jack Kennedy had made this pledge that when they were going to run against each other-and they thought they were running against each other-- they would debate all over the country, have these forums, and-but then-

JIM LEHRER: Go together.

HAYNES JOHNSON: Go together and then when it was over, they would get together with civility and respect and friendship because they liked each other; they respected each other.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/remember/19...water_5-29.html

I don't know what to make of Palin. I think it was Morning Joe where I heard the comment that like many attractive women, she was elevated too fast beyond her competence/experience by an old fat white guy. But, I've never seen a responsible person who attended so many colleges without getting a degree. Maybe Nick Nolte, but he was a professional college football player. Beyond a doubt, there is something of an anti-intellectual about her. Reagan was not an intellectual, but he was educated, and not incurious. Palin is incurious. Her comment about not having been overseas because her parents weren't wealthy enough to buy her a pass port and backpack was simply offensive to a lot of people who went on the cheap when they were young ... and who wished they could do it again. But, McCain is just not the happy warrior he was in 1980. He's old and pissed off about it. His demeanor is like Goldwater's in 64 rather than Reagan's in 80.

The New Deal devolved into central planners determining electricity rates and when to build new, and what kind, of plants. We had a top marginal rate of 70%. kemp-Roth unleashed capital in time for the technological revolution. We are better off than we were in 1980. We didn't defeat the Soviets. We let capital seek the best risk/reward, and stayed out of the way. Reagan's army may have dissuaded the KGB and Red Army in the 80s as the soviets imploded, but regardless of military expenditures they were on their way to being a third world economy, whereas dome years in the 60s they prolly had more gnp growth than the US.

However, I don't think Goldwater and Reagan thought neoliberalism's notion that govt served to facilitate easing entry into markets is consistent with hiding how debt is collateralized, assessed a risk factor, and sold to 401k investors. And I don't think they'd have approved of Cheney letting Ken Lay write our energy policy, and THEN having FERC not step in and set elec rates in Calif AFTER it was shown that Lay's company was actually creating spikes in the market, and selling elec to taxpayers at spike times.

Assuming the progressives are elected I wonder whether they'll seek to return to econ leveling or seek to open markets to real free trade.

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Welcome back, BD. You're thought-provoking, you make a lot of sense, and you're a breath of non-ideological fresh air.

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From the WaPo:

Carelessness a common theme of 'faux' conservatives

By George F. Will

October 19, 2008

WASHINGTON — From the invasion of Iraq to the selection of Sarah Palin, carelessness has characterized recent episodes of faux conservatism. Tuesday's probable repudiation of the Republican Party will punish characteristics displayed in the campaign's closing days.

Some polls show that Palin has become an even heavier weight in John McCain's saddle than is his association with George W. Bush. Did McCain, who seems to think that Palin's never having attended a "Georgetown cocktail party" is sufficient qualification for the vice presidency, lift an eyebrow when she said that vice presidents "are in charge of the United States Senate"?

She may have been tailoring her narrative to her audience of third-graders, who do not know that vice presidents have no constitutional function in the Senate other than to cast tie-breaking votes. But does she know that when Lyndon Johnson, transformed by the 1960 election from Senate majority leader into vice president, ventured to the Capitol to attend the Democratic senators' weekly policy luncheon, the new majority leader, Montana's Mike Mansfield, supported by his caucus, barred him because his presence would be a derogation of the Senate's autonomy?

Perhaps Palin's confusion about the office for which she is auditioning comes from listening to its current occupant. Dick Cheney, the foremost practitioner of this administration's constitutional carelessness in aggrandizing executive power, regularly attends the Senate Republicans' Tuesday luncheons. He has said jocularly that he is "a product" of the Senate, which pays his salary, and that he has no "official duties" in the executive branch. His situational constitutionalism has, however, led him to assert, when claiming exemption from a particular executive order, that he is a member of the legislative branch, and, when seeking to shield certain of his deliberations from legislative inquiry, to say that he is a member of the executive branch.

Palin may be an inveterate simplifier; McCain has a history of reducing controversies to cartoons. A Republican financial expert recalls attending a dinner with McCain to discuss with him domestic and international financial complexities that clearly did not fascinate the senator. As the dinner ended, McCain's question for his briefer was: "So, who is the villain?"

McCain revived a familiar villain — "huge amounts" of political money — when Barack Obama said he had received contributions of $150 million in September. "The dam is broken," said McCain, whose constitutional carelessness involves wanting to multiply impediments to people who want to participate in politics by contributing to candidates — people such as the 632,000 first-time givers to Obama last month.

Why is it virtuous to erect a dam of laws to impede the flow of contributions by which citizens exercise their First Amendment right to political expression? "We're now going to see," McCain warned, "huge amounts of money coming into political campaigns, and we know history tells us that always leads to scandal." The supposedly inevitable scandal, which supposedly justifies pre-emptive government restrictions on Americans' freedom to fund the dissemination of political ideas they favor, presumably is that Obama will be pressured to give favors to his September givers. Their contributions that month averaged $86.

One excellent result of this election cycle is that public financing of presidential campaigns now seems sillier than ever. The public has always disliked it: Voluntary and cost-free participation, using the check-off on the income tax form, peaked at 28.7 percent in 1980 and has sagged to 9.2 percent. The Washington Post says there were three reasons for creating public financing: to free candidates from the demands of fundraising, to level the playing field and "to limit the amount of money pouring into presidential campaigns." The first reason is decreasingly persuasive because fundraising is increasingly easy because of new technologies such as the Internet. The second reason is, the Supreme Court says, constitutionally impermissible. Government may not mandate equality of resources among political competitors who earn different levels of voluntary support. As for the third reason — "huge amounts" (McCain) of money "pouring into" (the Post) presidential politics — well:

The Center for Responsive Politics calculates that by Election Day $2.4 billion will have been spent on presidential campaigns in the two-year election cycle that began January 2007, and another $2.9 billion will have been spent on 435 House and 35 Senate contests. This $5.3 billion is a billion less than Americans will spend this year on potato chips.

Will is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, based in Washington, D.C.

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One of the supreme ironies of this campaign, I think, is that while Obama's detractors were decrying his supposed lack of substance, the G.O.P, as demonstrated by its flagship, the McCain campaign, descended into utter vapidity.

The supposed (I have my doubts) rising star of the G.O.P., Sarah Palin is, of course, a case in point (and a number of prominent conservatives have jumped ship because of her). Her understanding of national and Constitutional issues range from incorrect to incoherent. Her appeal, outside of the supremely religious crowd, is on a personality level: She is pretty, she is charming, she winks at the camera. She is, as I like to say, like a hot librarian... except she hates books. But she is not only un-intellectual, she is anti-intellectual. Is this really the face of the new G.O.P.?

But to me, she was not the bottom for the G.O.P. A couple of weeks before the election, they started talking to the electorate like they were four year olds: "Joe the Plumber?" (Whom McCain referred to, apparently without irony, as "an American hero... and my role model"). "Tito the Bulider?" Is this really what political discourse has been reduced to in the most powerful country the world has ever seen?

But the problem, as always, starts at the top: John McCain. His personal merits are obvious and they may yet propel him to victory, but unlike George W. Bush, who had an organizing set of principles, John McCain has nothing except the glory that is John McCain (and even that had been compromised when he tarnished his own "brand" by hitching his wagon to the Bush administration). His campaign has been about nothing other than finding the best way to put John McCain in office, hence the lurching from gimmick to gimmick (see above) and constant reinventions of campaign themes and, finally, the decision that the only way to win is to convince enough Americans that Barack Obama is an America-hating, pro-terrorist socialist who will destroy Israel.

Two more thoughts:

1. Just because a campaign is vapid (and mean-spirited) does not mean it will not ultimately be successful, although odds are it will not carry the day (in this particular instance).

2. This is not an attack on McCain voters or Republicans generally. There are legitimate reasons to vote for McCain (or against Obama, as the case may be), some of which have been articulated by the principled conservatives here at Civil Discourse. In fact, in my view, it is the principled conservatives who should be fighting the hardest to stem the tide of vacuousness that threatens to carry their party into oblivion (at least in the short term). Speaking for myself, I welcome the day when I once again feel comfortable casting a vote for a Republican (as I did for the Senate in 2000), but that won't happen until the party regains its intellectual footing.

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Very nice post, Adam.

Yes, it is sad to see a good man and a once-proud party sink so low. But I think it's time to put this malignant organization out of its misery. A sensible, secular, fiscally conservative party that is libertarian on social issues would in the long run be a better counterweight to the Move On left, even if it splits the right at first. The shame is that I'd hoped McCain would be the one to lead American conservatism out of the darkness.

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Three views of the future of the GOP.

The one from William Kristol is particularly disgusting, IMO. I'm certain that he meant to be somewhat humorous. He failed. His logic is wavery too. He seems to think that one thing that will make "libruls" happy is that if McCain wins, that would make Palin LESS of a threat than an Obama win would because, in his view, that win would catapult her into the presidency in 2012. Huh?

aC

Source: NYT - Krugman - The Republican Rump

Source: NYT - Kristol - Hey Liberals! Don't Worry

Source: NYT - Cohen - The Republican Blues

Edited by Au Courant

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Kristol still longs for an opportunity to occupy Tehran, but the other two sort of alluded to the sad fact that the GOP has kicked most of us moderates out. To get the nomination, McCain had to be more bushii than bushii. When New Orleans perished, bushii was at the McCains' celebtrating bushii's birthday. And, McCain at heart is a neocon, still asserting we could have won in Vietnam if we'd just hung on a little longer.

The Gop is Right on healthcare. The progressives want medicare for all. The only cost control is the ability of the econ to pay for unlimited care. A regulated market solution is to find a means for individuals to buy just enough healthcare to fit their percieved needs, and to mandate that certain things like catastrophic care and wellness are covered. Cost control is built in with people seeking to not buy more than they want. But, the current gop cannot regulate markets, nor can it raise revenues/salaries to actually allow people to buy insurance.

Most people opposed the financial bailout. I'm not sure how the maj feels about mortgage bailouts ... and in what form. And, I'm not sure how a maj would feel about a large public works project, like a grid and wind generated elec. I suspect they support these things, but only if the govt is kept out of being a direct player in the market.

Only time will tell what this election means. However, I was listening to Tell me More on NPR, and they had Armstrong Williams and Felix Rodriguez on (and a guy Tim Wise, whom I'm not familiar with.) Williams, not surprisingly, said this election was not an integration of the black experience into white America, but the middle class fearing loss of home ownership. I'm thinking a lot of African Americans are sharing white Americans fear of losing a house. LOL Rodriquez, not surprisingly, was a bit more deep. He said that culturally latinos were trending GOP, esp with bushii and mccain, and imo that's largely correct, on social issues and theoretcially smaller govt. But not only has the last 8 years been dismal economically, RW hate radio had entered a xenophobic frenzy that hasn't been heard in decades. So they voted AGAINST the gop.

Kristol suggests we may see President Palin. I don't think anyone who ran as vp on a losing ticket became potus since the civil war, or perhaps ever. And Joe the Plumber won't pay for his kid's education and he's a bully.

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Kristol suggests we may see President Palin. I don't think anyone who ran as vp on a losing ticket became potus since the civil war, or perhaps ever. And Joe the Plumber won't pay for his kid's education and he's a bully.

Remember Geraldine Ferraro?

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Now THIS is interesting. Tom De Lay, that paragon of virtue, claims that the GOP got its butt kicked and blames it on... are you ready?... MONEY!

No mention at all that the people are unhappy with the results of GOP supremacy (term intended) over the last 8 years. No mention at all of the dearth of values in the supposed values party. Nope. He says that the GOP was beat at what used to be the game they owned - the ground game. Hmmm. Don't remember that every being the case.

In any event, he believes all will be well if they just learn to use the technology and ground game that Obama used (he misrepresented this as the D game when, in fact, only Obama was able to harness it). He also pays some attention to what he calls the internecine warfare in the party but his major point is money.

He forgets, I think, where all that Obama money came from - the people. We liked what he said so we gave him money so that he could spread that word.

Hmmm.

aC

Source: Townhall.com - Why Republicans are Getting Whipped

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Look for Bobby Jindal and Sarah Gump to battle it out in '12.

How does calling Sarah Palin names fall under the umbrella of civil discourse? Or does that rule only apply to ones that dare be critical of Obama? Will I get the boot again if I should I call Obama "The One" or "Obamachrist"? Or say that Mr. Obama is a socialist or a terrorist? I'm just trying to understand the rules on what's considered civil discourse and if there is a double standard for such lables because I like it here even though there is a bias.

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